The Morality of Procreation
I admit that I do not study much in the way of ethics. Although, I do think that studying enough metaphysics and epistemology would provide one with good enough tools for thinking about morality. But I have this question I would like to ask those who study much more ethics, to get an idea of what people think, because I'm so torn on this issue, as I am with many ethical issues.
The morality of procreation: is it ever immoral, unethical, to procreate? Is procreation is a right of some sort? Or a privilege? Are there circumstances in which it really is wrong to have a child? There are lots of circumstances to consider:
(1) If you know that the child you will have will be born with some disease, or handicap, or whatever, that makes his/her life difficult in a significant way. Would it not be better to not have that child?
(2) If you are in a financial situation that is not conducive to raising a child addressing all of his/her needs to a high enough degree? (Is there some degree that we can decide is high enough, or too low for raising a child and providing enough for his/her needs?)
(3) What about the bias of biology? That is, there are so many children that need to be adopted, so why bother procreating if you can just adopt? Is it not ethically preferable to adopt?
These are only a couple of the questions that can be asked, there are so many more. And I am not limiting this post to only addressing these ones here, I am only trying to provide some food for thought. But I would really like to know what some others' thoughts are about the issues of morality and procreation. I recognize that my views are colored by my own experiences and feelings and decisions about my life, but I would like to know what others think, since others have very different experiences. This is one of those really hard issues for me, because on one hand, I realize that it is very personal, and that most people might want to say that no one has the right to interfere in that. But on the other hand, I feel that procreation, and raising a child is perhaps the heaviest moral act that one can engage in, since it involves not merely interacting with another person, but literally creating, in every way, another person, and being wholly responsible for that person.
So, what do people think of this? Like I said, I'm no ethicist, so I would really like to gett the perspective of someone who is, who has studied ethics.